Over at Inside Story I have a long analysis that discusses Burmese politics and, in particular, the question of how the generals have managed to stay in charge for so long. It concludes:
We remain far from the day when Burma will be considered a “normal” country. But the elections of 2010 are supposed to bring that distant future closer to reality. Managing this difficult period will test all of the resources of the generals, and those who seek to break their yoke. Although Ban Ki-moon, Aung San Suu Kyi and others like them will have a part to play in these battles, it is increasingly obvious that international efforts to undermine the Burmese government must first come to grips with the day-to-day mechanics of military rule. A critical and unflinching understanding of the generals and their objectives is the best starting point for any future effort to bring them down.
The full text is available here.